Dept. of Geosciences Colloquium: From Rocks to Records: Exploring Earth Surface Dynamics with Sediments

Dr. Shlomy Vainer, University of Toulouse (France)

22 July 2024, 11:00 
Ornstein Building, Room 111 
Dept. of Geosciences Colloquium




Sediments are products of rock erosion, recording the history of weathering, transport, deposition, and burial processes they have undergone. The nature and rates of these processes reflect their tectonic and climate settings. Thus, learning to read sedimentary imprints enables us to evaluate the mechanisms and triggers affecting the geophysical conditions.


In this talk, I will present recent developments in the study of continental sediments and demonstrate how they are used to quantify and understand the forces operating at the surface of the Earth.


The primary applications include the combined and individual use of:

  • 1. Dating Methods: Used to study the chronology and dynamics during transport and burial. Such chronological constraints will be contextualized within their prevailing geophysical conditions.

  • 2. Geochemistry, microscopy, and physical properties of sediments (sedimentology): These techniques are utilized to reconstruct landscapes and study the tectonic and climatic processes that formed them.

  • 3. Numerical modelling of landscape and sediment transport. These models serve as tools for quantitative assessment of the dynamics of creation, transport, and weathering under different environmental conditions and will be presented with the assimilation of analytical data.


The findings from these applications will be examined concerning the contemporary understanding of geological structures and sediment deposition in continental basins. This encompasses discussions on the timing and dynamics of the world's youngest continental rifting, the conditions conducive to the formation of sandy deserts, and the projected erosion rates under shifting climate conditions. Finally, possible implications of such changes on early human populations in Africa will be mentioned.


Event Organizer: Dr. Roy Barkan



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